Trująca Fala

Baraka Face Junta Test Sytemu CD

The band was new to me, but the sounds resonated instantly. Stark anarcho/post-punk from Poland with ties to STRACONY, a nasty good saxophone (a recent addition, apparently), and male/female vocals that bark and chant and spit with a constant ferocity. The songs are advanced and addictive, they just sound important, like you’re supposed to be listening and listening closely—imagine a foundation somewhere between THATCHER ON ACID and WŁOCHATY, and then bring in a crew to build on that foundation unencumbered. Ten songs here, and my biggest takeaway is that I need to track down their first two records, because this one is incredible.

Hero Dishonest Flat Society LP

Helsinki’s ever-prolific HERO DISHONEST is back again. This veteran band’s pummeling hardcore punk approach remains intact, complete with politically-charged lyrics and an overarching darkness shadowing their meaty sound. This album is overflowing with angry energy, and these dudes can really rip it up when they want to. Switching between Finnish and English lyrics, the universal language of disgust and frustration comes through loud and clear, especially when the singer forgoes words in favor of straight shrieking. Truth be told, this is as solid of a hardcore record as you’re going to get these days, and if the wordier tracks lose you, simply turn to the fantastic “Brick Wall” for a speedy assault with an unmistakable message.

Infekcja Singles 1997 LP

Ghastly screaming vocals combined with a guttural crust racket, bring a lashing of squat-punk fury from Poland. This is a combination of the band’s self-titled EP, Symbioza EP, and their tracks on the split with SO WAR. Dual vocals remind of some Japanese influences around that time, as well as European crust from SEDITION, SCATHA, FLEAS & LICE while sharing some of the optimistic chords of POST REGIMENT and the irreverence of DEZERTER. INFEKCJA plays it close to the vest—with some stressful blast beats, post-punk breakdowns, rotting metallic ride-out riffs. Throughout the play there are totally chaotic moments and artistically deliberate avant-garde moments. This is by no means generic crust-core forgotten from the ’90s. And if I just have not heard enough memorable hardcore punk from Poland to make further comparisons that is clearly my problem. It just gets better and better as it plays through. Glad to be introduced.

Kara Kara CD

I love how the universal language of punk is anger. Like me, you may not know a word of Polish, but you understand the feeling behind each of these songs. You understand what the struggle to protect our territories from the dispossession of capital in any form is all about. And that goes the same from the Rio Grande to the Vistula. I love KARA’s debut because it sounds as if the Basque band DUT had been influenced by DISCHARGE instead of FUGAZI.  What I mean by that is that we are looking at an album full of sharp and punchy D-beat, extremely fast and precise in execution, almost unbridled but never losing technique. And it’s really fun too.  I hope with all my heart to hear more noise from this band from Warsaw. 

La Fraction De L’Autre Côté LP

The last LA FRACTION album came out in 2007. I drove the band on a North American tour that summer and I saw them play a few dozen times, so I should have known what to expect when I dropped the needle on De L’Autre Cote fifteen years later in 2022, but I was not prepared. Not at all. When Magali’s vocals opened “Tout Va Bien,” I fucking cried. It wasn’t something I could control, and I didn’t try. There is a magic here, and it’s not something I can describe, but the band sounds (appropriately) older, wiser, and more angry than they ever have before. Their fourth full-length is arguably their best—Magali sounds like she is doing battle with DeDe’s guitar while Boris’s drums push everything forward. It’s a perfect band, really…it always has been. And while I knew that before I started listening to this record, I was still, somehow, not at all prepared. Bands (particularly punk bands) are simply not supposed to get better with age, but LA FRACTION have defined themselves with this album, and I feel like I don’t want to listen to anything else. Ever.

Fractured / Phane Phane vs. Fractured split LP

This split presents a battle between Canadian bands. Vancouver’s PHANE delivers six tracks of their own charged hardcore punk inspired and fueled by GBH and the like—punk militia drums, thrashy guitars with tasty riffs, and fast soloing. A deep, ranting voice leads with resemblances of UK82-style anthemic performance, but adding modern nods in the guttural delivery. A good discovery; well-executed, fast punk rock. Suggested tracks: “Musorá” and “No Need to Breathe” for classic street punk rhythm and solid bass lines. FRACTURED, a trio from Montreal, brings five tracks displaying a D-beat/UK82-infused sound heavily influenced by crusty hardcore punk. Good riffing fast guitars and thrashy ’80s metal female vocals mixed with classic hardcore punk drum cadences, reminding me in some songs of Canibalina’s screams in her band ABYECTA. Suggested track: “Full Speed Ahead.” PHANE would win this pairing.

Potere Negativo Benvenuto All’Inferno LP

Incisive and incessant Italian D-beat hardcore punk from Milano and Valtellina alla putanesca with somber tonality. Featuring members from SCALPO, LUCTA, and HOLY, they keep the beat effectively and sing in their own language. Filled with a rabid energy and even reverbed, crunchy lines that resemble rusty chainsaw blasts. Surely points to classic ’80s Italian hardcore, but creates a sound of their own during the whole LP. Eager to hear more from them, great project. Favorite tracks: “In Eterno” and “Fiume Dell Odio.”

Wirus Pychoza LP

The sound on Psychoza is tuneful and even a little danceable. There’s singing, not screaming, which is always a challenge for punk. But the vocals have enough growl and gurgle to keep the punx (or at least me) happy. The bass has a real sharp, treble-heavy sound which brings to mind KID DYNAMITE or the CHOKING VICTIM LP. The whole record has a great, consistent sound without becoming repetitive.